Tom Zeller Jr. is an American journalist, former New York Times reporter and columnist, and current editor in chief of the digital science magazine Undark. He is co-editor and contributing author of the 2022 book “A Tactical Guide To Science Journalism,” published by Oxford University Press.
As both a writer and newsroom leader, Tom has spent more than two decades cultivating prizewinning coverage on a diverse range of topics at the intersection of science and society, from energy policy, climate change, and environmental justice, to internet culture, technology innovation, structural poverty, and health and medicine.
In 2013, Tom was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT, where he spent a year studying environmental decision-making, economics and climate policy — topics he has covered in the U.S. and abroad for The Times as well as National Geographic, Bloomberg View, Forbes, and Al Jazeera America, among other publications.
He is represented by Mackenzie Brady Watson and the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency in New York, N.Y.
Tom co-founded Undark in 2016, alongside Pulitzer prizewinning author Deborah Blum, who serves as the magazine’s publisher. Under Tom’s leadership as editor in chief, the magazine’s work has been anthologized in the Best American Science & Nature Writing book series, and honored with numerous awards, including the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award and the prestigious George Polk Award for Environmental Reporting. Undark has twice been named a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and earned top prizes from the Society for Environmental Journalists, the Association of Heath Care Journalists, the National Association of Science Writers, and the Online News Association.
In addition to his writing, Tom has earned recognition for his visual journalism, including prizes from the Society for News Design and from the University of Navarra’s prestigious Malofiej Awards for graphic and interactive packages designed for The New York Times during the run-up to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as The Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series on race relations in America.
He resides with his wife, wildlife biologist Katherine Zeller, in western Montana.